EMU novice forensics team wins six individual national championships, overall team championship at 32nd annual Novice Nationals Forensic Tournament

by Pamela Young, Published April 15, 2014

YPSILANTI:  Eastern Michigan University students took top honors at the 32nd annual Novice Nationals Forensic Tournament, held at Northern Illinois University recently. The novice tournament is for students competing in their first year of collegiate forensic competition.

The Eastern Michigan students won the overall Novice National Team Championship award, presented to the team with the highest point total at the tournament. Eastern students also swept the competition with six individual national championships in various areas.

 Eastern Michigan winners were:

Tommy Barker, from Middletown, Ohio:

  • National Champion in Pentathlon
  • National Champion in Impromptu Speaking
  • National Champion in Due Interpretation with partner Jake Dailey
  • 2nd Place in After-Dinner Speaking
  • 5th Place in Prose Interpretation, and
  • 5th Place in Impromptu Sales

Jake Daily, from Middletown, Ohio:

  • National Champion in After-Dinner Speaking
  • National Champion in Duo Interpretation with partner Tommy Barker
  • 2nd Place in Pentathlon
  • 2nd Place in Prose Interpretation and
  • 4th Place in Dramatic Interpretation.

 Lee Stevens, from North Branch, Mich.:

  • National Champion in Informative Speaking
  • 2nd Place in Communication Analysis
  • 2nd Place in Impromptu Sales
  • 3rd Place in Prose Interpretation
  • 3rd Place in Pentathlon
  • 5th Place in Extemporaneous Speaking
  • 5th Place in Persuasive Speaking

 Kayla Green, from Farmington Hills, Mich.:

  • National Champion in Persuasive Speaking
  • 3rd Place in After-Dinner Speaking
  • 5th Place in Communication Analysis and
  • 8th Place in Pentathlon.

 Sophia Mendez, from Lake Orion, Mich:

  • 3rd Place in Poetry Interpretation, and
  • 3rd Place in Dramatic Interpretation


Twenty-five colleges and universities from around the country competed in the event, including. Cornell University, Butler University, Hillsdale College, Loyola University-Chicago and Northern Illinois University.

Forensics is the quest for truth, a term commonly associated with police and crime television dramas. Competitors in forensics also seek truth through communication and performance. Whether persuading an audience that legal reform is needed or exploring the emotional truths of the human experience, competitors seek to give an audience a greater understanding of the world and our place within it.

Eastern Michigan forensics ranks among the top 10 championship teams in the nation. EMU students have placed nationally in the top 10 for more than 40 years and have won more than 35 Michigan State Team Championships. The students took their first national championship in 1973.

Eastern Michigan will host the National Championships April 18 – 21. The tournament covers four to five days, and championships are awarded in ten individual events and Lincoln-Douglas debate. More than 1,000 students, coaches and guests are expected to attend.

The Lincoln-Douglas debate on the intercollegiate level is one-on-one policy debate. The debate format is named after the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, which were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Illinois, and Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic candidate.

The National Forensic Association is an intercollegiate forensics association devoted to individual events and the Lincoln-Douglas debate. For more information about the forensics program, visit http://www.emich.edu/cmta/communication/forensics.php  or call 734.487.3130.

Pamela Young

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